7 rules for receiving communion in the hand
48 (Sept/Oct), pg 361. Fr. Those who receive Communion may receive either in the hand or on the tongue, and the decision should be that of the individual receiving, not of the person distributing Communion.  See Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 6.43.18. A perception such as this is a dreadfully inaccurate and impoverished understanding of what is a significant religious action. For whatever reason, reception on the hand does not appear to convey the same level of reverence in the public consciousness as reception on the tongue. It may well be the case that the sudden change in practice after Vatican II decreased devotion towards the Eucharist and belief in the true presence, and it may well be the case that there were bad actors who in fact desired this result. For real reception of the Blessed Eucharist it is required that the sacred species be received into the stomach.  In Jerusalem, we have the mystagogical catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem (or perhaps of his successor, John). 160-161; English translation here) Over and over again the prayers of the liturgy and the norms of the General Instruction emphasize this fundamental concept of the unity of the baptized, stressing that when we come together to participate in the Eucharistic celebration we come, not as individuals, but as united members of Christ's Body. Monaco, 31 October 1969 For pastoral reasons this manner of receiving communion has been legitimately established as the most common form in the Latin rite. Copyright 2023 Eternal Word Television Network, Inc. Irondale, Alabama. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. 3. While we have the option of receiving holy Communion either on the tongue or on the hand, we must always be mindful of receiving our Lord respectfully. We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. Devotion and reverence toward the Eucharist in the case of communion in the hand. And of course Pope Paul VI was adamant that all the reforms carried out under him were faithful to the Second Vatican Council. For it is a deed fraught with destruction to take the tongue which serve such awesome mysteries, which has become purpled with a blood so precious, which has become a sword of gold and to change its course to abuse, insolence and ribald jests. Please take responsibility for the lies, the bile, and the sinful stuff. This was the law of the Church for almost 14 centuries, and is still the general norm today. FYI, the announcement that approval for Communion in the Hand was given (in 1969) to Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, and Chad appeared in Notitiae in v. 6 (1969), no. However, since it is a permission, it does not generate an absolute right, and the pastors can rescind the permission, either generally or in particular circumstances if objective motives exist for doing so. Still, while not the direction eventually taken, I believe restriction to be the more natural reading of the Vaticans intent at that moment in time. Ever since the InstructionMemoriale Dominithree years ago, some of the conferences of bishops have been requesting the Apostolic See for the faculty to allow ministers distributing communion to place the eucharistic bread in the hand of the faithful. So then after having carefully hallowed your eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, partake of it; giving heed lest you lose any portion thereof; for whatever you lose, is evidently a loss to you as it were from one of your own members. The way we communicate the Gospel message is almost as important as the Gospel itself. R. E. Heine FotC 21 (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1982). University of Notre Dame, McGrath Institute for Church Life Come see, There are many devout Catholics who find this practice helpful. Above all, it is necessary to have the introduction of the rite preceded by an effective catechesis so that the people will clearly understand the meaning of receiving in the hand and will practice it with the reverence owed to the sacrament. In such cases, episcopal conferences should examine matters carefully and should make whatever decisions, by a secret vote and with a two-thirds majority, are needed to regulate matters. Hence, my theory is that the wide granting of the indult exceeded its initially intended scope as continued prompting from advisors and larger-than-anticipated requests from conferences overcame the popes reluctance. Their attitude of reverence must measure up to what they are doing. It was designed: 1. I have come to realize in the last few weeks how many of my Roman Rite brethren are actually understanding the Eucharist in a heretical way. II], On the part of both the minister and the recipient, whenever the host is placed in the hand of a communicant there must be careful concern and caution, especially about particles that might fall from the hosts. My overarching point in all this (as someone who receives comfortably in both manners) is that I dont think common concerns with reception in the hand have been treated with adequate seriousness by many its defenders. Reverence can be good if it opens us to God & neighbor and makes us more loving. The sad fact that in recent years hosts consecrated by a Pope have been offered for sale on the Internet further motivates this precautionary measure. The people administering the sacrament are asked to use hand sanitizer immediately before. What if we were passionate about all that?  See John Damascene, On the Orthodox Faith, 4.13. We would also do well to teach, as the Fathers do, that reverence is not only about proper reception of the Eucharist, but also about living the kind of life to which the Eucharist commits us. The left hand is extended, with the right hand under the left in support (left handed persons may wish to . Maybe this is part of a grand conspiracy by . Paraguay, 27 September 1971  John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent 28. My country is not on this list but holy communion is the norm. But is the impression they give generally correct? Fire and Spirit, contrary to nature Particularly in regard to this way of receiving communion, experience suggests certain matters requiring careful attention. Receiving Communion The Sacrament of Holy Communion (also known as The Lord's Supper or Eucharist) has been precious and life-giving to Christians for 2,000 years. They probably never foresaw its subsequent, and occasionally chaotic, development in some parts of the Church. Upper Volta and Niger, 20 February 1970 Paul VI had a measure of it in 1974, and we hav emostly missed the wisdom of Evangelii Nuntiandi. When we receive Communion, we become members of Christ's Body, the Church. They partake not of Him that is in them, they perceive Him not. St. Cyril of Jerusalem in 348 gave this instruction to his congregation:When you approach Holy Communion, make the left hand into a throne for the right, which will receive the King. After stipulating the historical practice of Communion in the hand, Memoriale Domini: defends the development of discipline that led to Communion on the tongue What some call discipleship, others evangelizationnew or whatever, or some speak of discernment and application of spiritual gifts. As seen above, the U.S. bishops were not among the first to permit Communion in the hand. Pope Paul Vl calls attention to the purpose of the InstructionMemoriale Dominiof 29 May 1969, on retaining the traditional practice in use. On reverence for the Eucharist and belief in the Real Presence among Catholic laity has greatly declined I dont think this has ever been proven. The faithful receive Communion kneeling or standing, as established by the episcopal conference. What a Priest Might Do If He Wants to Avoid It. Pope Benedict was asked why he chose to distribute Communion only to those kneeling and on the tongue and he responded, because it highlights "the truth of the real presence [of Christ] in the Eucharist, helps the devotion . Q. Nowhere in this article did I see what the CHURCH says about Holy Communion, only the writers opinion. It also happens, on occasion, that the free choice of those who prefer to continue the practice of receiving the Eucharist on the tongue is not taken into account in those places where the distribution of Communion in the hand has been authorized. Do we accept an experience of the Real Presence only when the externals and the lingo of 1950 are seen and heard? When the communion is distributed under both kinds, it is never permitted to place in the hands of the communicants hosts which have first been placed in the Blood of the Lord.  Cyril of Jerusalem, myst. But to us our Lord has given both . For example, to say that Communion in the hand is a sign of spiritual maturity, or that Communion on the tongue reduces the lay faithful to infancy, is belied by centuries of lay saints who received in this manner. However, it was a brief exchange with ones immediate neighbors and at a time when men and women occupied separate aisles in the church. Part 4. It is simply reading too much into this practice, and it is not correct to support something one favors by denigrating another practice. Ive updated the post. As to the way to carry out the new rite: one possible model is the traditional usage, which expresses the ministerial functions, by having the priest or deacon place the host in the hand of the communicant . As further documentation,Pray Tell provides this excerpt from the 2002General Instruction of the Roman Missal in Latin and English on the reception of Communion. Take a step or two to the side to make way for the next communicant, then receive our Lord. Obviously, for better or worse, the NLM has an agenda. 96). It seems appropriate to conclude this reflection on the Communion Procession and the reception of Communion with a quotation from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. I wholeheartedly agree with your comment on another thread that this ongoing discussion is frivolous and is only causing needless division. As to the way to carry out the new rite: one possible model is the traditional usage, which expresses the ministerial functions, by having the priest or deacon place the host in the hand of the communicant.  Augustine, Letter 54.3.4, trans. Receiving communion in the hand was the common practice of the Church in both East and West for the first 800 years of Christianity, and it was certainly considered reverent by the Fathers. All of us should receive with great reverence and respect. Finally, to the end that their coming to this heavenly table may be completely worthy and fruitful, the faithful should be instructed on its benefits and effects, for both the individual and society, so that their familial relationship to the Father who gives us our daily bread, may reflect the highest reverence for him, nurture love, and lead to a living bond with Christ, in whose flesh and blood we share.. can.  Theodore of Mopsuestia, Catechetical Homilies 6. You should thus draw near with great awe and love, according to the greatness of that which is given: with awe, because of the greatness of (its) honour; and with love, because of (its) grace. These need to be taken seriously if one wants to effectively engage in these discussions with the likes of Cardinal Sarah and others. Maybe this is part of a grand conspiracy by Satan to destroy the Church (ok, probably not that). There is a twofold purpose here: that none will find in the new rite anything disturbing to personal devotion toward the Eucharist; that this sacrament, the source and cause of unity by its very nature, will not become an occasion of discord between members of the faithful. In this he shows a great fear, and since the hand that is stretched out holds a higher rank, it is the one that is extended for receiving the body of the King, and the other hand bears and brings its sister hand, while not thinking that it is playing the role of a servant, as it is equal with it in honour, on account of the bread of the King, which is also borne by it.  John Chrysostom, Baptismal Instruction, 12.15-16, trans. The Holy See has made it abundantly clear that both manners of reception of Communion - on the tongue and in the hand - are permitted, that Communion should be received reverently, and that the manner of reception should not become an occasion of division in the church. Bishop Athanasius Schneider argued along the same lines at the end of February. This blog is not associated with Pray Tell: An open forum on faith in South Texas. Germany, 6 June 1969 It is a matter of particular seriousness that in places where the new practice is lawfully permitted every one of the faithful have the option of receiving communion on the tongue and even when other persons are receiving communion in the hand. Another will say the opposite; he says, On the contrary, if the wound of sin and the attack of the disease is in fact so great that such medicines need to be postponed, one ought to be removed from the altar by the authority of the bishop in order to do penance, and one ought to be reconciled by the same authority.